Beach Access and Park Issues
July 2, 2010

Park Service reports a fourth deliberate violation of a resource closure




Two suspects have been apprehended in an investigation by National Park Service rangers into the fifth deliberate vandalism act of the 2010 season to resource protection areas within Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

They are Daniel Hunt, 28, from Maryland and a local resident Brian Tillett, 34, of Rodanthe.  The two men have been charged with multiple violations.  

The incident occurred at approximately 2 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, July 1, on the beach near the Sea Oats Drive area, north of the Rodanthe Pier.  

Evidence of two separate sets of ATV tire tracks were observed driving south on the beach for approximately two miles.  The vehicles entered a sea turtle protection area, performed multiple swerves, “donuts,” and jumping maneuvers.  One set of tracks led to a cottage occupied by Hunt, who confessed and identified the second driver.  

Hunt was charged with unsafe operation, operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure, entering a resource protection area in the national seashore, giving false information, disturbing wildlife, and being intoxicated in the park.  His ATV was seized as evidence in the crime.  Tillett was charged with unsafe operation, operating an ORV in a seasonal ORV closure, and driving on a suspended license.

This is the first act of a deliberate violation since the consent decree became effective on April 30, 2008, in which any suspects have been apprehended.

NPS law enforcement personnel investigated the incident.  If anyone has information about this or other resource protection violations that occur in the park, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.  Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.  

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm









June 11, 2010


Park Service reports a fourth deliberate violation of a resource closure




The National Park Service reported in its Resource Management Summary for this week that a fourth deliberate violation of a resource closure occurred on June 9.

According to the report, a vehicle drove from Ramp 49 in Frisco through the South Beach pre-nesting closure and Cape Point pre-nesting closure to Ramp 43 in Buxton.

At Ramp 45, bare footprints were observed where the perpetrators untied a rope that blocked the way. Park Service law enforcement was contacted and evidence was observed and collected at the Point where the perpetrators had stopped to urinate.

Both the north side of Cape Point at Ramp 44 and the west end of the South Beach pre-nesting
closure were expanded by 50 meters.

The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, the National Park Service (NPS) shall automatically expand the buffers.

As a result of the violation, the northern buffer was expanded by 50 meters.  The expansion will remain in effect until shorebirds have finished using the area for breeding activities. 

Under consent decree modifications approved in June, 2009, NPS is not required to expand the buffer if information from the public or developed by NPS leads to the apprehension of a violator.  If a buffer has been expanded because of vandalism, as is the case here, and subsequent information leads to violator apprehension, NPS may retract the expansion.

NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate this incident.  If anyone has information about this violation, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.  Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm






June 8, 2010

More vandalism closes more beach – this time on Bodie Island

The third deliberate vandalism act of the 2010 season to a shorebird resource protection area has resulted in an expansion of the closure located nine-tenths of a mile south of Ramp 4 on Bodie Island Spit in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

The vandalism was discovered at 6:40 a.m. on Sunday morning, June 6. Evidence indicates that an individual had entered the shorebird resource protection area on foot and destroyed symbolic fencing and signs.  Approximately four signs and sign posts were found either broken or pulled out of the ground. 

The one set of foot tracks entered the resource protection area for approximately 15 meters and then exited.  There were no vehicle tire tracks inside the protection area.  Further investigation revealed that unsuccessful attempts had been made to remove carsonite signs in the surf zone.

The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, the National Park Service (NPS) shall automatically expand the buffers. 

As a result of the violation, the northern buffer was expanded by 50 meters.  The expansion will remain in effect until shorebirds have finished using the area for breeding activities. 

Under consent decree modifications approved in June, 2009, NPS is not required to expand the buffer if information from the public or developed by NPS leads to the apprehension of a violator.  If a buffer has been expanded because of vandalism, as is the case here, and subsequent information leads to violator apprehension, NPS may retract the expansion.

NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate this incident.  If anyone has information about this violation, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.  Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment. 

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm


First vandalism of nesting season results in buffer expansion

The first deliberate vandalism incident of a resource protection area during the 2010 shorebird breeding season has occurred, resulting in an automatic expansion of the protected area.  The incident occurred at the north end of the resource closure located 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38, which is just south of Avon.   






June 1, 2010


Vandalism closes Ramp 45 to all access



The second deliberate vandalism act of the 2010 season to a shorebird resource protection area has resulted in the closure of all public access to Ramp 45 area near Buxton in Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

Ramp 45 had been closed to ORV access on May 21 when piping plover chicks hatched in the area, but it was still open to pedestrian access.

A park law enforcement Investigation revealed that in the early morning hours of Monday, May 31, individuals entered the area on foot after tossing the vehicle barricades into the brush along the side of the sand route on the back side of the Cape Point Campground.  The 202 campsites in campground were all occupied for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Upon further investigation, another vehicle barricade was found to be missing from the Interdunal Road and symbolic resource protection closure fencing was destroyed along the Ramp 45 route.  Approximately 34 signs and sign posts were broken or pulled out. 

The remains of two beach fires were found near the shoreline.  The two fires had been covered with sand but were still hot and smoldering.  Evidence of the remains of sign posts and the vehicle barricade were found in the fire pits.  There were numerous foot tracks found around the fire pits, but no vehicle tire tracks were found in the area. 

The court-ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, the National Park Service (NPS) shall automatically expand the buffers.  As a result of the violation, Ramp 45 is closed to both vehicles and pedestrians.

The expansion will remain in effect until shorebirds have finished using the area for breeding activities. 

Under consent decree modifications approved in June 2009, NPS is not required to expand the buffer if information from the public or developed by NPS leads to the apprehension of a violator.  If a buffer has been expanded because of vandalism, as is the case here, and subsequent information leads to violator apprehension, NPS may retract the expansion.

NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate this incident.  If anyone has information about this violation, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.  Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment. 

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at: http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm






April 23, 2010

First vandalism of nesting season results in buffer expansion

The first deliberate vandalism incident of a resource protection area during the 2010 shorebird breeding season has occurred, resulting in an automatic expansion of the protected area. 

The incident was discovered by National Park Service bird monitoring staff on Thursday, April 22, and is being investigated by NPS law enforcement personnel. The expansion was implemented on Friday, April 23.

The incident occurred at the north end of the resource closure located 0.8 of a mile south of Ramp 38, which is just south of Avon.

Tire tracks and footprints were observed in the area where five wooden closure signs were found broken and a 4- by 4-foot post was pulled out of the ground.

The red-and-white colored rope connecting the posts into the tidal zone was removed and missing.  Tire tracks were observed traveling through the closure.

The area was established on April 20, 2010 for a pair of breeding American oystercatchers.  As a result of the deliberate violation, the buffer expansion reduces access by 50 meters on the north side of the current resource closure.
 
The court ordered consent decree mandates that if a confirmed deliberate act that disturbs or harasses wildlife or vandalizes fencing, nests, or plants occurs, NPS shall automatically expand the buffer by 50 meters on the first offense, 100 meters on the second, and 500 meters on the third. 

Under consent decree modifications approved in June 2009, NPS is not required to expand the buffer if information from the public or developed by NPS leads to the apprehension of a violator.  If a buffer has been expanded because of vandalism, as is the case here, and subsequent information leads to violator apprehension, NPS may retract the expansion.

NPS law enforcement personnel continue to investigate the incident.  If anyone has information about any of these violations, please call Dare Community Crime Line at 252-473-3111.  Destruction of government property and entering a resource closure are federal criminal violations, each subject up to a $5,000 fine and up to six months imprisonment.

For up-to-date information on currently open or closed areas, check the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Google Earth maps at:  http://www.nps.gov/caha/planyourvisit/googleearthmap.htm



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